Globalization Threat to the Environment





Global change has become a popular word in scientific debates on long-range structural change in the earth’s ecology. Globalization has in the past played a major role in the controversial environmental debates. Many problems resulted in this area of discussion, in regard to the intricate linkages between globalization, government, trade and transport, and environmental decay.
The current debate on the environmental effects of globalization is particularly concerned with the question whether a worldwide liberalization of trade may provoke environmental collapse. Three major environmental concerns related to trade are the domestic environmental effects caused by the use of imported products, the foreign environmental effects caused by the production of exported goods, and the environmental effects caused by transport movements needed for international trade.
In a democratic society, the citizens presume the right to make laws that reflect their deepest values, yet this is no longer the case. With the emergence of the World Trade Organization (WTO), democracy has been abandoned. It no longer matters what the democratic societies want, but what the global corporations want.
Created in 1994, the WTO is already among the most powerful, reserved, undemocratic bodies on earth. It has been granted with vast powers, which include the right to judge whether laws of nations are impairments to trade, by WTO standards. They rule laws concerning public health, food safety, small business, labor standards, culture, human rights, and other social and economic procedures (Krugman and Obstfeld 23). If any of these laws proved to be harming to trade, the WTO can demand their nullification, or enforce very harsh sanctions.
Trade should be a tool to achieve shared human aspirations, to improve standards living and to enhance the quality of life. Trade rules should not provide a license to degrade the world or force it to trade away those things that value the most, like clean air, clean water, wild life, and wild places (30).
Yet, currently international rules can prevent America and other nations from rejecting imported products that are harvested or produced in ways that don’t meet tough environmental standards.
For example, the WTO preached that the regulations under the U.S. Clean Air Act, which set high standards against polluting gasoline, did not accommodate with WTO rules. It judged that it was unfair for the foreign oil companies that produced contaminated oil. As a result, the U.S. government rewrote the regulations so that automobile can give off polluting exhaust.
Another WTO ruling that produced harm to the environment is the Marine Mammal Protection Act, specifically the provision that protects dolphins from being slaughtered by tuna fisherman, was found disagreeable. Ultimately, these authorized rules will determine whether the United States can prevent Great Lake water from being sold to the highest bidder or whether nations can reject imported shrimp caught in nets that catch and drown endangered sea turtles (Veen-Groot and Nijkamp 334). Soon, we can expect challenges against American laws controlling pesticide use, protecting community water rights, and banning raw log exports, which saves both forests and processing jobs. Not only are these ruling made upon the United States, but also in other countries worldwide. In Japan, the WTO ruled against them for refusing imports of fruit products that carry dangerous invasive species.
Thus, because of these harsh rulings made by the WTO on several environmental acts, many nations are now frightened to contradict the corporations. By not proposing anymore health laws against these corporations, the environment could get worse year by year. This also gave advantages to the corporations, since this help them escape from democratic laws that regulate their activities.
The rise in worldwide trade and the increasing interaction between countries previously separated by trade barriers have stimulated a significant increase in transportation progresses at all geographical levels. This has caused a wide variety of threats to the environment. Thus, a demanding problem of globalization is formed by environmental decay caused by the rise in international transportation (339).
The rise in international transportation could be partly blamed on the transport of globalized food. As more global corporations take over most of the aspects of farming, local resources and labors of small farmers are decreasingly vanishing. This caused the people to buy and eat food that are grown overseas instead of the local areas. Thus